Sixteen of the Sixth Moon, 351 Part I

It remains important to write down everything that has happened in case it is of value in the future, but the future certainly is dark.

I awoke late the next morning and was almost blinded by the light streaming in at the edges of the heavy curtains. I opened pulled back the fabric and felt like I was struck by a wall of heat. Withdrawing into the darkness of my bedchamber, I shook my head. All the events of the past night came flooding back. I rushed to my closet and opened the door.

Alek’s body was missing.

Distantly I heard laughter, but I knew it wasn’t real. There was no way anyone took Alek’s body while I slept. Perhaps this was another part of my bargain that I didn’t understand yet. It mattered not, if Death followed the deal Tatyana would be mine by dusk. I went to the washroom and looked in the mirror. I looked ghastly, with chalk white skin and dark circles under my eyes. There was a moment of anger at this sight, but I dispelled it when I remembered there was one more task to complete. And with that I went to find Sergei.

He was readying in his antechamber, and barely noticed me until I closed the door behind us. My brother turned and smiled, telling me he was glad I came to see him before this afternoon’s event. I was to be his best-man after all. I cautiously eyed my brother as I entered. He was dressed in the finest princely clothes, with our family colors of black and red draped over his body. At his waist hung the magical Sunsword my mother gave to him before he cam here. I found myself clenching my teeth. But he didn’t notice. He told me that he wished that I had someone like Tatyana to spend my life with. How little he truly knew.

With a smile, I showed him the gift I had brought him. I presented the Ba’al Verzi dagger to my brother, telling him of the powerful magick within. He seemed confused and put-off, clearly knowing how inappropriate of a gift it was, but he smiled and thanked me all the same. What a fool. Had anyone presented me with such a gift I would have attacked them immediately. The Ba’al Verzi can be anyone after all.

Even your own brother.

As Sergei stepped forward to take the knife, I drew the blade and plunged it into this heart. Sergei’s flesh offered absolutely no resistance and the blade sunk to the hilt. It happened so fast, Sergei didn’t realize what was happening. In fact, I believe he thought I was moving to embrace him. He made some motion with his mouth, but no sound came out. I saw what was happening in his eyes. Confusion. Pain. Sadness. But not a hint of anger…how pathetic. As his eyes glazed over with the caul of death, I lowered him to the floor. I withdrew the weapon, and it was dripping red. I started licking the blood from the blade.

I recall laughter in the distance, but I can’t be sure.

I looked down at my brother. The bright blue of his eyes beamed through the corpse’s gaze. My eyes, and my mother’s eyes. Sergei made me do this. If he had stayed in Bissel, none of this would have happened. I could have found Tatyana on my own. If he had joined the priesthood like he was born to do he would still be alive. He made me kill him.

I left his body on the floor and retreated through a secret door. In my chambers I waited for Sergei’s body to be discovered and prepared my reaction. I would rush to my brother and break down at the sight of his corpse. Obviously, the Ba’al Verzi had sent another assassin to avenge the one Leo had killed. And then I would console Tatyana in her grief.

I looked in the mirror has screams erupted though the halls. I wanted to be sure there was no blood on my lips. My visage had improved, I looked healthy again and color had returned to my skin. But then it started to happen: the image was fading. As if I was made of smoke, my reflection began to disappear. Within a few moments, I was staring at an empty pane of glass. No doubt this was another price to be paid for my bargain.

It was worth it to have her.

Sixteen of the Sixth Moon, 351 Part I

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna